Lessons from Black Friday in Mumbai

By Gerard Valentino

Most Americans transfixed by Black Friday sales at the local discount megamart completely ignored the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. Sadly, it’s learning from such tragedies that might save your life someday.

For those not familiar with the story, terrorists fighting for an independent Kashmir stormed several high profile hotels and other locations in Mumbai, resulting in at least 200 deaths as of this writing. Like the bombings that took place around the world prior to 9/11, Americans see the carnage in Mumbai as largely another issue they can ignore. As they see it, attacks similar to what happen in places like India don’t happen here.

It’s amazing that post-9/11 that people have their head buried so deeply in the sand, or should we say they are so deeply buried in the American societal ways, that getting a deal on a plasma TV is more important than taking a few minutes to learn the possible tactics of our next attackers.

The tactics used by the terrorists in India are similar to those found in Al Qaeda manuals in Iraq – chillingly among the documents found during intelligence sweeps included plans for America’s schools.

Al Qaeda learned from their mistakes in planning and carrying out the 9/11 attacks, and there is no doubt they might regret the attack. After all, since they chose to punch us in the face their fortunes have turned a little sour. Osama bin Laden can’t stick his head up out of a cave somewhere in Pakistan and his terror network is in shambles. America faces other security risks yet nearly 8 years later, there hasn’t been another large scale attack.

The enemy continues to plan that next big attack and it might just mirror what happened in Mumbai. Recognizing the telltale signs of such an attack is vital to how people will survive when it happens, because it will.

Throughout the years since 9/11, Americans have often braced for the next attack because of the false alarms tripped by the Department of Homeland Security. Now, when the so-called “alert” level changes it leads to more jokes than a serious consideration of a terrorist attack.

With our society driven by the 24 hour news cycle, an iconic picture was taken by Sebastian D'Souza, a picture editor at the Mumbai Mirror. The picture showed a young man brazenly walking through Chatrapati Shivaji Terminal railway station with an AK-47 in hand. Even more chilling than the picture was D’Souza’s report that armed police in the area refused to fight back, and they watched as civilians were massacred.

How angry would you be if a similar attack happened in America and the police simply stood by watching innocents be massacred? Well, it has happened here, in particular at Columbine when the police refused to enter the school.

As riveting as D’Souza’s reports were, one statement rang true to concealed carry advocates everywhere:

“I only wish I had a gun rather than a camera."

The terrorists knew unarmed civilians could do nothing to stop the attacks and instead were left at the mercy of people without any sense of decency. In Israel, terrorists gave up such attacks because they were getting killed before they could wreak enough havoc. Unlike America, in Israel people are encouraged to carry guns as a way of dealing with terrorists and over the years it saved countless lives.

Instead we are encouraged to simply comply when confronted with an active shooter. A telling difference that can be exploited here leading to a murderous spree by any terrorist determined to destroy our way of life. Lessons from the events in Mumbai are as vital to Americans as the lessons learned after Beslan School massacre in Russia. The problem is instead of learning the tactics of our possible attackers, we have largely ignored how terrorist cowardly attacked defenseless children.

So, then what can we learn as Americans from the tragedy in Mumbai?

Well, first and most important, that the terrorists are still out there perfecting their craft in as yet unfathomable ways.

An article picked up by Yahoo news spells out why luxury hotels are targeted by terrorists and, not surprisingly, it mirrors the arguments made by concealed carry advocates for years. When locations are hardened, criminals and thugs in society will find a place that isn’t. After all, terrorists are the very worst type of coward. They prance around in a macho manner promising to die for their beliefs -yet choose to kill the unarmed.

Still, there are elected officials who think taking guns out of the hands of honest people is the answer and claim law-abiding people to going about their daily life armed is a threat to public safety. Even our president-elect Barack Obama, anointed by the main stream media as one of the most progressive thinkers in modern political history stands decidedly in the past on concealed carry since he’s on record, many times, as saying he opposes letting honest Americans carry guns.

He, and people of his backward political mind don’t realize that guns save lives, because when you need one your life WILL be on the line, and you will be somewhere the government tells you is a place to feel safe.

There is one problem, however, and it was learned in blood over the Thanksgiving weekend in Mumbai, India.

You are not safe exactly where you think you’re safe.

Gerard Valentino is the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Secretary and writes for the ValentinoChronicle.com.

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